2021 NFL Draft Round One Recap

Joseph Bender, Sports Editor

After an all virtual 2020 NFL Draft from Roger Goodell’s basement in 2020, this year the Draft was back on location, back in Cleveland, Ohio for a normal-ish NFL Draft, packed with 50,000 fans from all thirty-two teams looking to see who the future is of their beloved franchise. To no one’s surprise, Clemson’s star quarterback Trevor Lawrence was the first overall pick, heading to Jacksonville, Florida where he will be coached by College Football coaching legend Urban Meyer. Though there were many elite quarterbacks in this year’s draft, Trevor Lawrence was on his own island, way ahead of everyone else. Lawrence is Clemson’s first ever #1 overall pick and the future is now a reality for one of College Football’s best quarterbacks of all time.  

In the 2021 NFL Draft the Carolina Panthers selected South Carolina DB Jaycee Horn as the 8th overall pick of the draft. Horn was the first cornerback taken off of the board and the first defender taken off the board. Horn was projected to be a first rounder in the draft but wasn’t expected to be top ten, as he is South Carolina’s first top ten pick since 2014 where Jadeveon Clowney was the #1 overall pick to the Houston Texans. The Panthers organization had been targeting Horn all the way back to the beginning of last season and had a chance to take ‘their guy’ as the 8th overall pick in Cleveland.  

As in every draft, this pick sparked some controversy among Panther fans and NFL fans, as most had Alabama’s CB Patrick Surtain finding a new home in the NFL before Horn, with many not projecting Horn to be selected until the 12th pick or later. This is the second year in a row that South Carolina has had a defensive player drafted in the first round, with DL Javon Kinlaw being drafted to the San Francisco 49ers last season and Horn this year.  

A major story in this year’s NFL Draft is the reuniting of many players, and that can be true for both Trevor Lawrence and Jaycee Horn. Jaycee Horn reunites with former Gamecocks, including Dennis Daley and Joseph Charton. Lawrence is reunited with Travis Etienne, as the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Etienne in the 20th overall pick, just a few picks after Jaycee Horn and Trevor Lawrence.  

After exciting college careers, these former in state standouts will now move to the next chapter of their lives in the NFL.